Sound reactive cat ears

I love LED sound reactive things.  And by that I mean properly sound reactive, not randomly flashing like a wedding DJ sound rig, but reacting to the bass beat.  I previously made a skirt that did this, and a bag, and even updated a pair of cat ear headphones.  For GFB I wanted to make it more seamless by making cat ears for Yui that attach and don’t need a headphone band.

I’ve been using a hardware spectrum analyser in the past because it just works great and doesn’t need any complex microprocessor to do real time audio capture and FFT.  To be fair these days the ESP32 is more than capable of fast DMA audio capturing and FFT (WLED has some interesting sound reactive code but it would need a little tweaking), so it was just quicker just to use one of the boards I had previously designed and had made and already built for the cat ear headphones and just update my existing code.

The first step of the project was to design a suitable sized cat ear in Fusion 360, this took much longer than imagined as that software has a bit of a learning curve, especially when wanting to make more organic shapes, fit over a curved kigu head, and have covers that clip over the electronics. The final design has an inner part we can stick the LEDs to and an outer cover with a 1cm air gap to give some reasonable diffusion. (For even better diffusion, wow_elec_tron does some amazing work on figuring out the best LED diffusion using 3d printed channels).

I had some addressable LED strips left over and cut up to give 13 LEDs per ear.  Adding more LEDs, using 35mm ones instead of 50mm, would give a better density and allow more fancy animations, but this was a deliberate trade-off: in a dark environment you want the ears to be noticable, but not so bright they are annoying to others.  And I wanted to make sure I could get at least 3 hours of run-time including running a cooling fan for the mask from a small rechargable battery.  I use a good quality phone-bank style battery based internally on a 18650 cell to minimise the risk of issues having a rechargable battery close to your head (I’ve had enough LIPO problems not to want those anywhere near my head).

The final setup for GFB is shown above, with a small switched fan for mask cooling.  The battery power splits to the right ear which has all the electronics, and the left ear which just has LEDs.  A third (yellow) wire links the two ears to pass on the control to the LEDs in left ear.  Threaded inserts allow the inside section to attach with M4 screws through holes in the mask, and the cables run through the wig.  A small switch pokes out the side of the right ear allowing mode changes. The covers clip on and were painted to match brown hair.  Originally the plan was to glue the covers onto the inserts, but it’s easier to attach the ears without the covers, and we can always change the covers later to add furry ones or even latex ones.  Finally a small clip (not shown) was hot-glued into the mask to take the battery.

The code is just updated version of the one used for the skirt (will update the github code in the future), with the switch allowing cycling between off, a photo mode (which just slowly changes colours without flashing), and several beat mode animations.

Photo: Heinrich v. Schimmer, www.schimmerandsisca.de

Its hard to take video at an event without getting other people in the background, and you also get copyright music. See the start of this post for a demo with my own music.

ScotiaCon 2023 and Furry Yui

In 2019 @PeachyPig made me a furry moose Yui. A few years later I was able to show her off at Glasgow ScotiaCon 2022. So I was really looking forward to going back to ScotiaCon 2023 and it was so much fun.

We had a disco, an inflatable panel, a hoofers meet and much more!

Looking forward to ScotiaCon 2023!

Photo credits on each photo.

On my way to the dance
On my way to the dance
Photo: twitter/@picsdagoat
On my way to the dance
On my way to the dance
Photo: twitter/@picsdagoat
 
Photo: twitter/@picsdagoat
 
Photo: twitter/@picsdagoat
 
Photo: twitter/@picsdagoat
 
Photo: twitter/@picsdagoat
 
Photo: twitter/@picsdagoat
Inflatable Panel
Inflatable Panel
Photo: Peanut
Hoofers Meet
Hoofers Meet
Photo: twitter/@picsdagoat
Hoofers Meet
Hoofers Meet
Photo: twitter/@picsdagoat
 
Photo: Peanut
 
Photo: Peanut
Hoofers Meet
Hoofers Meet
Photo: Peanut
 
Photo: Peanut
 
Photo: Peanut
 
Photo: Peanut
 
Photo: Peanut
 
Photo: Peanut
Inflatable Panel
Inflatable Panel
Photo: Peanut
 
Photo: Peanut
Inflatable Panel
Inflatable Panel
Photo: Peanut
 
Photo: Peanut
Lift con?
Lift con?
Photo: Peanut
 
Photo: Peanut
 
Photo: Peanut

Yui’s 2022 review

The year started out with my first trip to a Furry convention, ScotiaCon in my hometown of Glasgow. Furry Yui had a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to going again in 2023. After some easter pics at home we headed out to Mach2 for a dance party and to help with tea service. Redflare500 (twitter) made some amazing art from the event.

Next came MCM London with a small stage performance as Bang Dream! with friends. This was a lot of fun. We also went to MCM Birmingham later in the year and did a Sailor Scout group cosplay, with e being Sailor Jupiter. Also in the year a windy trip to Whitby for the Goth Weekend, a summer meet and wrapping off the year with a Christmas meet.

Thanks to all my friends, helpers, photographers for making this a memorable year. Photos in this set by Jade Tatsuko, Mermaid Fenicia, Cloud Tied, Amity DeWolf, Jackie Izumi, and Grimly.

Fanart and Commissions

Here is a collection of the various fan art that has been drawn of me or commissions. I’m missing a few from earlier years, coming soon.

Yui’s 2018 review

2018 marked the 2nd anniversary of my life as a kigu and was full of fun, events, and meeting lots and lots of friends:

Spring

We started the year with a long weekend latex retreat away in the country. Skye and I took over the hotel reception for a while.


Next was the local Glasgow Anime event, Raicon. I think Yui looks a bit like IF from the Hyperdimension Neptunia games so I cosplay her sometimes. For this Raicon I wore a new IF outfit taken from the Sega vs Hard Girls game.


In May me and Jade went to Anime North in Toronto. Anime North attracts a lot of kigus from around the world because as well as the convention there is a lot of off-con fun and trips organised by Neko Niko. This year we attended BBQs, bowling, and the highlight was certainly the trip to Niagra falls. Everyone was so friendly to us, I’d love to return one day.


Summer

Straight back to the UK and we were off to Yorkshire Cosplay Con in Sheffield. We’re always made to feel so welcome at this Con and so Kigus travel from around the UK to meet at it. It’s great to spend a couple of days at the Con, and during down-time spend time chatting and having fun, food, and card games with friends.


This Summer was so hot in Europe so to cool down Jade and I visited Luka in France and had a great weekend hanging around her pool. She even made me coffee like a good maid should.


Back to UK and an off-meet with Convoluted (here wearing Juniper), Jun, and Nora. We visited a Scottish castle ruins and the weather was kind to us.


At J-Con, a Derby Anime event, I danced to the tunes of Nyokee in my LED skirt. It was also the first outing for my new kig, Coconut from Nekopara, made by DAME Kigurumi. Jade wore her Maple mask and together we had lots of catgirl fun.


Back to the November Raicon in Glasgow and another outing for the Nekopara kigus along with Convoluted. Coconut got recognised so much and so many people wanted our photographs.


Autumn

More latex for Halloween with my new petticoat and a 3D printed necklace.

I really love my 3D printer which I got at the start of the year. I’ve made necklaces for Halloween, Bowling, and Christmas, and buttons and other parts for my cosplay outfits. The most ambitious project was the LED skirt for my magical latex girl outfit which has 3D printed LED sleds that slide into pockets in a custom latex circle skirt.


Next up was another long latex weekend away in the country with Skye and another hotel for us to help run. I’m so happy with this chlorinated latex swing dress which BlackSheepLatex designed just for me with my input; it’s covered in cute hearts. Would you like to visit a hotel where all the staff are all Animegao Kigurumi?


Winter

And, just like that, 2018 was nearly over. Just time to fit in a weekend event with a couple of dozen European kigus in Derbyshire. Tennis Anyone?


Throughout the year I did some streaming on Ezcapechat, not quite at the 2017 level when I was on several times every week. We did manage to get in some games of Fibbage though.


We hope 2018 was good to you too.

On behalf of both myself and Jade we wish you peace and prosperity for 2019.



Photos in this post were taken by Jade Tatsuko, Keital, Perrine, Hoson, Dominic, Naomi, Grimmothy. Also many thanks to everyone else who took photos of me or was a handler.